BIOS has detected unsuccessful POST attempt(s) on Intel NUC

After upgrading the SSD on my Intel NUC to a larger size, I was greeted with an error message that took me way too long to find a solution to:

BIOS has detected unsuccessful POST attempt(s).
Possible causes include recent changes to BIOS
Performance Options or recent hardware change.
Press 'Y' to enter Setup or 'N' to cancel and attempt
to boot with previous settings

This problem was compounded by the fact that my wired keyword refused to work when this error was encountered.

Sadly, I vaguely remember running into this the last time I upgraded the SSD, and I did myself dirty and never documented things.

Hours of troubleshooting

As mentioned, I took way too long to solve this problem. Part of the extended timeline was due to the computer being my media center. It’s wired to our TV along with our Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, and Steam Deck. A lot of my troubleshooting included unhooking it, bringing it to a table, opening it up, and doing stuff.

Some of the stuff I tried included:

  • Checking that the old SSD was still working, to rule out that it was a problem with the main board
  • Attempting to reset the BIOS and/or CMOS with the security jumper in different positions
  • Trying the USB keyboard and USB thumb drive in every USB port, which ended up being quite a few permutations

No help from Intel

Seeing as Intel got out of the “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC) business, they went scorched earth on their documentation. Most of the links I found that seemed like they’d have some helpful information were dead. Many deferred to ASUS for support as I guess they own things now.

The Internet Archive came in really handy, but nothing I found ended up helping.

Such an easy fix

After spinning my wheels for hours, I decided that perhaps I outta try updating the BIOS. It seems like a no brainer after the fact, but from my perspective the BIOS was just confused, and not necessarily needing an update.

This final dance included removing the offending SSD, which allowed my keyboard and mouse to work again. I sourced the BIOS update file pretty easily, but not from Intel.

The video I watched on the Intel website gave some wonderful step by step directions on how to find the BIOS for the Intel NUC on their site. Too bad that there was no BIOS file to download for my model. Softpedia was able to come to the rescue.

After updating the BIOS and reinstalling the SSD, everything booted up as expected. Now, with my Intel NUC booting back up, I was able to install Debian and transfer files from my old SSD.

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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